He dreamt of death.
Death on schedule.
Death known to be on its way.
Death getting closer.
Sometimes in prison.
Waiting for the gallows or the guillotine.
Wondering what it was going to be like when it came.
The time always nearer.
Sometimes, in a fight.
Held at gunpoint or in combat.
Imagining what a bullet will do to his body.
What it will feel like.
Sometimes, in illness.
Like when his father came home from the hospital to die.
He dreamt of walking along the crest of a dune.
Not a real dune.
Exaggeratedly tall and straight.
It falls away sharply on both sides.
The sand always ready to slide away in avalanche.
Forging ahead near the crest.
A strip of beach grass along its top.
Holding hands with a friend.
Wondering how long before it all collapses.
How long before they’re buried alive.
He never dreamt of drowning.
An Excerpt from Shoal Hope.